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OLAF runs investigation at Metrorex – possible overpriced payments at Metro Line 5

de Vladimir Ionescu , 5.2.2018

UPDATE: In a statement issued to RFI, OLAF confirmed the investigation at Metrorex, and its topic – the Metro Line 5 (M5) financed by European funds.

OLAF points out that is currently investigating allegations of irregularities in the EU-funded project for Bucharest Metro Line 5.

***

Several agents of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) made verifications on Wednesday at the Ministry of Transport documents regarding payments made by Metrorex to the consortium that builds the Metro Line 5 (Drumul Taberei), Hotnews writes, quoting government sources.

OLAF suspects overvalued payments made with the complicity of some Metrorex employees.

Government sources are also quoted by Agerpres in the following statement:

OLAF is the audit of the European Commission and can investigate any project financed with European funds. Taking into account that this project (Metro Line 5 – editor’s note) is about to be completed and the amount drawn is very high, OLAF can anytime come to check. The OLAF representatives were present for three days at Metrorex, checked the documents on M5 but when they completed the investigation, they did not say that they came to check a certain issue or what the verdict is. They have the right to investigate at any time and they did not say that they came to investigate this and that. They only requested the documents on M5.

The metro line Drumul Taberei (Opera House – Raul Doamnei) is built by a consortium consisting of Astaldi, FCC Construccion, AB Construction and Delta ACM Antrepriza.

Metro Line 5 will serve over 300,000 inhabitants in Districts 5 and 6 and will have ten stops: Raul Doamnei, Valea Argesului, Valea Ialomitei, Romancierilor, Drumul Taberei Park, Tudor Vladimirescu, Favorit, Orizont, Academia Militara and Eroilor.

Works started in 2011 and should have been completed in 2014. The latest deadline committed is 2019.

The total updated value of the project, according to the general estimate, is RON 3.22 billion, of which:

  • eligible POS-T -RON 871 million (European non-reimbursable funds)
  • non-eligible POS-T – RON 524 million
  • eligible POIM – RON 1,479 billion (European non-reimbursable funds)
  • non-eligible POIM – RON 345 million.

OLAF is the EU institution that investigates cases suspected as frauds with European funds and, depending on the result of the investigations, recommends the recovery of illicitly used funds, and when there is evidence of a possible offense, it recommends to the national authorities to initiate legal actions.

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